We left Charlotte yesterday about 10 am worried about the weather. The reports on Hurricane Hanna heading north were daunting since we were headed right for it. Then a news report put up a map that showed the heavy rain and winds mostly along the I-85 and I 95 corridor toward Washington. We changed plans and took I-77 to I 81 over Fancy Gap and through the Shenandoah Valley. Clear skies and dry roads all the way.
Not so clear and dry inside the car. I don't usually ride up the road sitting in the back seat sobbing but that's how it was. Finally grief rolled over me and I could not stop crying. Fortunately Karen was with us so that she could share the driving with Jim because I could not take but one turn.
Since last week I have been trying to wear my best face and act like Mama's Big Girl and all that fell away today. I received an email from Patti on my cell asking "how are you" and I wrote back, "sitting in the back seat of our car sobbing." Right away my cell phone beeped and she answered, "sobbing is good. sobbing is necessary."
My friend Elizabeth first called me on this Mama's Big Girl tendency of mine some months ago when we were working on a story. She wrote to me - "make room to grieve, Ellouise."
I guess grief is making sure I pay attention to Elizabeth's advice. It has come calling and it isn't moving on.
Memories are crowding my thoughts - memories mostly of when Mama and Daddy were young and beautiful and hopeful. As the oldest I have many of those and I love them.
Its the stuff of story. I think I will stay with those for awhile.
And share them.
I called my aunt, mama's sister from the car. Lovely to hear her voice and tell her about the service. And to laugh with her. I told her a story - a new story - and we both laughed and I felt close to her and through her to Mama and Granny.
I will tell you that story tomorrow.
Today - I am not laughing.
Three weeks ago when I was with Mama she asked me, " you are going home tomorrow?"
"No, Mama, I am going home now."
She looked at me intently. Quiet. Then, " Ellouise, that's just the pits."
I replied, "yes, Mama, it is the pits."
I was wrong. This is the pits.
Posted by ELLOUISESTORY